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Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Mobile phone addiction

We wrote yesterday about the increasing penetration of mobile phones in Norway and the incredible usage of SMS in the global arena ( And of course, where there is something that is not fully understood in all circles, there are groups that straight away warn about the usage of the Internet, or, as in this case, the potential addiction to mobile phones - frequently, a look at the source reveals the intention of the one publishing some findings. With regard to mobile phone addiction mentioned in this report, the Seoul National University Bundang Hospital conducted the study.

Anyway, we often wrote about the savvyness of Korea when it comes to the usage new technology - now there is this article that says that 26% of mobile phone users in high schools has "addictive symptoms bordering on paranoia. About 60% were constantly worried whenever their mobiles were turned off, feeling someone could have sent a text message without setting off the warning bell." A girl, 14 years old, is quoted as saying that "She checks for new messages or calls every minute. She sends about 20 or more text messages a day, even though her fingers often hurt."

What is more interesting, so, is the impact of group pressure on the youth, to frequently purchase new handphones. Some students apparently change handphones every 4 months, and while many state that they lost the phone as a reason to purchase a new one (47.6%), others switch to get the latest design (31.6%). The report also said 90% of students relied on their parents to pay their monthly bills and added that more than 60% were in constant conflict with their parents over excessive charges.